Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 421..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
I am prepared to support this motion on the basis that it is calling for a review of this decision. I would like to have more information about the proposal and why it is necessary. In particular, I would like to know the details of the lighting proposed and what efforts have been taken to reduce light spill. From memory, the report of the last Assembly was unanimous and I would expect the government also to be supportive of the need to reduce light pollution.
If members recall the arguments, we have a very successful astronomy industry in this city. In fact, it is becoming quite unique. There are not many cities left where tourists can access a good night sky and, of course, the work carried out by astronomers is very important for science. There was an agreement in the last Assembly that the issue of light pollution is quite serious. There is, of course, the other question of the inefficient use of energy, which has implications for greenhouse.
I would also like to know about the future plans for this oval. While it may only be proposed to have junior teams playing there, once these lights are in place there will be a natural temptation for sporting clubs to want to use the facilities more intensively. There also appear to be links between this proposal and the redevelopment of the Deakin soccer oval, which I would like clarified. I wonder if this is a further concession being given to Canberra Deakin Soccer Club so that they can focus the use of their Deakin oval on senior competitions. I wonder if this is just a transfer to Yarralumla residents of the negative impacts of soccer activities that Deakin residents currently experience.
I would also like to know how seriously alternative locations further away from residents, such as the Mint oval and the forestry school oval, were considered. Even if these ovals are used by other sports, there may still be scope to share the use of them.
If the government can demonstrate that there is no alternative, I would be prepared to look at it. But at this stage I would like the government to do more work in justifying the proposal.
MR CORBELL (4.52),in reply: In closing, I would urge members who have not participated in the debate to support this motion. I think the points made by Ms Tucker only reiterate the concerns that I have in raising this motion.
I would like to clarify again that this is not about denying members of sporting organisations-the Canberra Deakin Soccer Club or, indeed, any other sporting organisation-the training facilities they need. It is about taking due cognisance of the issues associated with the impact of lighting so close to a residential area and the implications not just in the immediate term but down the track.
I must dispute the minister's figure of the lights being 80 metres to the nearest residence. That is certainly not my estimate of the position of a number of residences that are located right on the lease boundary of the oval. That may be the case for houses across the street but it is certainly not the case for the houses which immediately abut onto the oval grounds and which will have the lighting immediately facing them, albeit from across the other side of the oval.